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  • Saturday, 15 June 2024
Baby Reindeer: The Alleged Real Life

Baby Reindeer: The Alleged Real Life "Martha" Sues Netflix For $170 Million

The alleged real-life inspiration behind the stalker character in Netflix’s "Baby Reindeer" is suing the streaming giant for $170 million. 


Fiona Harvey, a Scottish woman, claims the show spreads "brutal lies" about her, including false accusations of criminal convictions and prison time. 


Harvey, who has publicly identified herself as the model for the character Martha, argues that Netflix and the show’s creator, Richard Gadd, ruined her reputation and life for the sake of storytelling.


Lawsuit Claims Netflix Lied "because it was a better story than the truth"

In the lawsuit filed in California, Harvey claims:
“The lies that Defendants told about Harvey to over 50 million people worldwide include that Harvey is a twice-convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison, and that Harvey sexually assaulted Gadd,” the complaint says. “Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money.”


“As a result of Defendants’ lies, malfeasance and utterly reckless misconduct, Harvey’s life had been ruined. Simply, Netflix and Gadd destroyed her reputation, her character and her life.”


Harvey’s lawyer, Richard Roth, stated they have "incontrovertible documentary evidence" proving she has no criminal record. The lawsuit reportedly includes a photo of a background check and certificate stating that Harvey has no criminal convictions.


Harvey’s legal team is seeking $50 million for actual damages, $50 million for “mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of business”, $50 million for profits from the series, and $20 million in punitive damages.


Netflix Defending Gadd's Right To Tell His Story

Netflix are standing by Gadd's right to tell his story. The company stated they intend to "defend this matter vigorously." 


Gadd, who based the series on his experiences with a stalker he met while working at a pub, is not being sued. He has asked fans to refrain from trying to identify the people behind the show's characters, emphasising that if he intended to reveal their identities, he would have made a documentary.


The controversy has drawn attention to Netflix's handling of true-story adaptations, with critics questioning the company's fact-checking and ethical responsibilities. 


Harvey, who has faced death threats and online harassment since the series aired, maintains that many details, including the alleged 41,000 emails and 350 hours of voicemail messages she supposedly sent Gadd, are gross exaggerations or entirely fabricated.


As this high-profile lawsuit unfolds, it highlights the complex relationship between storytelling, truth, and the impact on those depicted in popular media.


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